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Approaches of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia were presented at the conference dedicated to the integration of churches in EU PDF Print E-mail

A1On June 29, 2018, on the initiative of CDD (Centre for Democracy and Development), within the framework of the visit of Members of European Parliament to Tbilisi, a conference entitled “Role of Churches and Religious Communities in the European Integration process, Georgia – EU perspectives” took place at the Marriott Hotel in Tbilisi. The event was held in round-table - dialogue format.
Representatives of all religious communities in Georgia were invited to the conference. In attendance were Grigol Berbichashvili, Metropolitan of the Diocese of Poti and Khobi of the Georgian Orthodox Church and Bishop Jacob Iakobishvili of Bodbe.  The event was honored with the presence of Giorgi Holven and Ian Olbrikht, IGD 9512Co-Chairs of the Working Group on Dialogue with Churches and Religious Communities. The Armenian Diocese in Georgia was represented by Rev. Father Kirakos Simonyan, Spiritual superintendence of the “House of Hovhannes Tumanyan” Center for Science and Culture and Michael Avagyan, Head of Legal Affairs and Cooperation Department of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.
The speech of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, entitled “Role of Church and Religious Communities in the European Integration Process” was also included in the agenda of the conference. The speech was presented by Michael Avagyan. Touching upon the integration of religious communities in the European Union, the Diocesan Primate highlighted in his speech the harmonization of these norms with the realities of Georgia. In his speech IGD 9586His Grace thoroughly spoke up about positive approach of Georgian authorities toward religious minorities, and problems that still exist in Georgia were touched upon. These are issues of returning temples seized during the Soviet era to their historical and legal owners, as well as tax payments and media coverage of religious minorities’ activity (See the link….).
Rev. Father Kirakos Simonyan spoke up about viewpoints and approaches of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia on debated issue.  The spiritual father attached importance to the Tolerance and role of Church in the protection of this norm. Referring to the protection of human rights and freedoms, Rev. Father Kirakos Simonyan emphasized the protection of spiritual values by respecting the norms of law and freedom.
The assessments and approaches of the Georgian Orthodox Church and other religious organizations were presented.

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